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Le Fou Frog

Located in the Rivermarket, this little French restaurant has a solid reputation in Kansas City. I’ve heard for a few years about their fantastic happy hour specials with great cocktails and discounted eats. So I was excited to be invited along with some girlfriends on a recent Friday to enjoy an after work outting.

Just after 5:30 the place was starting to fill up. Many were dropping in to take advantage of the happy hour on their way to a night on the town, and others were already settling in for dinner. The small space is quite inviting, tables closely arranged and every wall space filled with something French.

My friends started off with champagne and I opted for Lillet Rouge. Each was priced at $5 or under. There was a also a nice selection of wines by the glass and other cocktails on the special menu.

The minute I walked in, the unmistakeable aroma of freshly made french fries had my olfactories at attention! They were a must. To round out the tasting, we got the charcuterie plate and the steamed mussels.

My nose was right about the french fries. They were the best dish of the night. Which is both wonderful and sad all at the same time, considering we went on to order dinner as well. Nothing else I tasted would make my “order next time” list. And if you want a more universal view, the yummy fries were good but paled in comparison to the ones at another French inspired KC spot – Westport Cafe & Bar.

The charcuterie plate was a great deal, but besides a nicely smoked cut of something delicious, it was not memorable. The mussels looked fantastic, but both the flavor of the seafood and the wine broth were lacking. If you want awesome mussels in delicious broth with some depth, order them at Pot Pie.

I was pleased to see more than one selection of Cotes de Rhone by the glass, and ordered a mouthwatering one to pair with my lamb shank. If only the lamb had been as impressive as the wine. Nicely cooked to a tender and moist state, the meat was flat and a little monotonous. Sadly, the muted reduction didn’t bring any life to it either.

The taste of my friends’ tuna was nice, but don’t come here if you’re looking for great seafood. The accompaniments – including balsamic reduced shallots – didn’t exactly complement the dish.

The service was good and we even had an unexpected vocal performance by one of the waitresses during dinner. She was flirty and fantastic!

It was a night of fun catching up with some friends. But I left the Frog feeling the same as I have after dining there in the past (and trying a much broader array of the menu on those visits). There may be some things Le Fou Frog does well -including a fun and unique happy hour – but overall I don’t find it to be a worthwhile dining experience. That goes for your taste buds and your pocketbook.

Le Fou Frog on Urbanspoon

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